Full of natural lakes, rugged coastlines and untamed forests is the city of Ukraine, which is located on the Black Sea. This country is a unique combination of traditional villages and modern cities, where the country’s culture runs deep and old traditions meet new ones. However, it is also true that Ukraine is one of the most overlooked countries in all of Europe. Despite the years, it has remained under the radar where Eastern European travel is concerned, but this only makes it a hidden gem that’s definitely worth exploring. From lush vegetation to sandy beaches to powerful architecture, Ukraine remains a traveling treasure.
Listed below are the must-see tourist attractions in the country that you don’t want to miss:
The wonderful capital of Ukraine, Kiev is an incredible gateway to Eastern Europe thanks to its Soviet-style architecture and medieval monuments. One of the places you should visit in Kiev is the Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra, an orthodox Christian monastery that was built in 1051. It is one of the most magnificent places you will visit in Ukraine as there are a number of monuments within the stone fortification walls and you can find everything from cave systems to cathedrals to bell towers.
Another popular place you should visit in Ukraine’s capital is St. Sophia’s Cathedral. The beauty of this building is that its construction began in the 11th century and yet its frescoes and mosaics have remained, which makes them almost 1,000 years old. There are some other structures that can also be found in the cathedral complex, such as the House of Metropolitan and the bell tower.
Both of these sites are UNESCO World Heritage Site and they look like a fairytale.
A major port of the breathtaking Black Sea and Ukraine’s third largest city is none other than Ukraine. Even though it is a large city, its layout is such that it gives you a very intimate feeling. There are lots of secluded squares and narrow winding roads to be found. Visitors travel to Odessa for the sparkling warm waters, attractive weather and sandy beaches. One of the top tourist attractions of the city are the Potemkin Stairs and they are Odessa’s claim to fame. These mighty stairways lead you straight to the beachfront from the center of town. The Odessa Opera House is another top attraction found in Ukraine and it is the world’s second largest theatre. Last but not least are the variety of Odessa night clubs such as the Ministerium and Ibiza which bring in tourists from all over the world.
Located in Western Ukraine, the quaint city of Kamianets Podilskyi is an Old Town that has been well-preserved. You will find it filled with cobbled streets, beautiful houses and street murals that portray the history of this city. Just outside the city in the midst of the Ukrainian’s countryside, you will find the main draw of the city, which is the Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle. This is a medieval fortress that can be traced back to the 14th century. It is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular fortifications that can be found in Europe as 7 of the original 12 towers are still intact. Visitors can tour the castle on their own or with a guide. It is one of the most historical places to visit in the country and is quite well-maintained.
This is a central city and the picturesque Sofiyivka Park is the primary tourist attraction here. It is a scientific research centre and also a botanical garden. Even though the scenery here is undoubtedly beautiful throughout the year, it becomes particularly breathtaking during the autumn season. When you visit Uman in this season, you will see the lush landscape covered by the warm fall hues and witness the leaves change color. It looks like an absolute fairytale.
If you are looking for an elegant European city to visit, Chernivtsi in Western Ukraine fits the bill. With a multicultural history, striking architecture and a wonderful café scene, you will experience pure pleasure upon visiting this city. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chernivtsi National University is also a spectacular and enchanting place to visit. You will feel an indescribable Central European vibe when you visit this city and it is possible to spend your entire vacation admiring its natural beauty, hopping from café to café or simply wandering the streets.
There is a small portion of Carpathian Mountains that fall in Ukraine. You will feel as if time has stopped when you visit this area. If you are looking for a place that boasts lush woodlands, unspoiled scenery and small villages, this is it. The open air infused by pine brings a lot of peace. There is a large ski resort called Bukovel where you can find an abundance of numerous winter activities. There are plenty of entertainment options, accommodation options and health facilities offered by the extensive resort. You can experience this magical winter wonderland when you visit Ukraine in the winter.
One of the most important cultural centers of the country is none other than Lviv. Tourists often visit this city to check out the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It boasts more western-influenced architecture than any other city in Ukraine. You can spot this when you take a look at the buildings in Rynok Square. The best way to describe these mellow hued structures is by referring to them as quaint, quirky and colorful. Another great place to visit in Ukraine is Lviv’s historic city centre where you can absorb the local food culture. There is a wide range of cafes and restaurants that have a relaxed ambience.
A typical Ukrainian city, Mukachevo is located in west of Ukraine, and is full of notable architecture and colorful churches. The highlight of the city’s tourism is the Palanok Castle, a 10th century fortress that has been preserved quite delicately. It is divided into three buildings; the lower castle, middle castle and the upper castle. There is also an art gallery and a historical museum. Situated on a 65-metre hill, the castle can offer you panoramic views of Mukachevo that you don’t want to miss.